We want to bring some cheer to your lives by music!
JFLA will be presenting live music performances via JFLA Facebook LIVE! Every Monday at 12:30pm, talented performers will play their repertoire dedicated specially to you. Just go to JFLA's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/JFLALC).
Let’s start a new week with some uplifting music at home!
You don't need to have a Facebook account. Click the link above. The live video will show up on the main page.
If you miss the video, you can still find it on our FaceBook or our YouTube channel. (Click here)
Mike Penny has received numerous awards for his innovative compositions and performances using the Tsugaru Shamisen. In 2007, he received the Japan Foundation’s Uchida Fellowship, which allowed him to study the instrument in Japan with Tokyo’s highly respected Tsugaru shamisen sensei Fukushi Toyoaki. Mike has given hundreds of public performances and continues to perform regularly as a solo artist and in various groups. He has become known through his many viral video performances on YouTube, and has gained a following for his unprecedented style of shamisen playing which combines traditional and extended techniques in a variety of musical contexts including jazz, Balkan folk, Western classical, and popular music in a fusion of both east and west, past and future. https://themikepennyorchestra.bandcamp.com
You can watch his performance for Music Monday (April 20) on YouTube (Click here).
Eien Hunter-Ishikawa is a musician, educator, and composer specializing in taiko, shinobue, and percussion. Recognized for his musicianship and versatility, he integrates his background of jazz, Western percussion, and traditional Japanese music to create an original and inventive approach to his teaching and performance. Eien has collaborated with many pioneers of innovative music including the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble, Kenny Endo, On Ensemble, John Kaizan Neptune, Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos, Colleen Lanki, TaikoArts Midwest, Naomi Sato, Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, Zenshin Daiko, Ho Etsu Taiko, Makoto Taiko, and Enso Daiko. After receiving early training from Saburo Mochizuki of the renowned Tokyo ensemble Sukeroku Daiko, Eien earned his Bachelor of Music Education at Central Michigan University and his Master of Music Performance at University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a passionate advocate of Edo Bayashi and Kotobuki Jishi (the traditional festival music and lion dance of Tokyo) and continues his in-depth study under Wakayama Shachu’s Kyosuke Suzuki, with kind support from Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten. Eien is an in-demand instructor and frequently presents workshops and lessons to various groups around the country. His website’s many articles, instructional videos, and online lessons are utilized by students worldwide. When not on the road, Eien makes beer, bread, natto, kimchi, miso, hot sauce, and other culinary pursuits at his home in Portland, Oregon. Recipes are featured on his blog, along with musician interviews and other eccentricities. www.eienhunterishikawa.com
You can watch his performance for Music Monday (April 27) on YouTube (Click here).
Saeko Kujiraoka began studying the Ikuta technique of Koto playing in Tokyo, Japan. She received an advanced degree in Koto, Sangen, and classical singing from the Michio Miyagi School of Koto in Japan. She teaches private Koto lessons in the Los Angeles area and performs at the colleges, museums and various receptions. She is proactively involved in various collaborations with harp, orchestra, jazz & Bossa Nova groups, etc. 2019 New Year's Day's Rose Parade in Pasadena CA, Saeko played the Koto on top of the float of a Japanese garden by Sierra Madre Rose Float Association. www.saekokoto.com
You can watch his performance for Music Monday (May 4) on YouTube (Click here).
When Shawn was first introduced to the shakuhachi , when he was a very young teenager from his father that used a wooden shakuhachi for his yoga practice . Shawn became very interested in the instrument and begin to listen to shakuhachi recordings he found in the world music section at the record store . In his early adulthood , Shawn became serious and begin his study around 2004 in Los Angeles. With sensei Kaoru Kakizakai , and for the past 10 years he has been traveling back and forth from the United States to Japan to further his study of traditional honkyoku/sankyoku, and become Shihan, through the School Of Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan (International Study Group) As well he has studied with Tozan teacher Bill Shozan. He also has a passion for making Shakuhachi both jiari and jinashi Shakuhachi , his shakuhachi Making name is ChikuShin , made at his workshop in The mountain valleys of Santa Susana California. https://shakuhachi.us
You can watch his performance for Music Monday (May 11) on YouTube (Click here).
Jazz vocalist Takako brings warm, happy and nostalgic sound to you.
She creates jazz standards and old Japanese folk songs to relive and tell a story. Takako was born and raised on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Her singing career started on this island and continued at the Yamaha Music Academy in Sapporo. Later, she discovered the art of jazz transitioning from the world of Japanese pop songs to the universal language of jazz standards. Since coming to Los Angeles, Takako has performed on a variety of studio recording projects and live performances. She has worked with some of the finest musicians in the world such as Russell Ferrante, Tamir Hendelman, Otamaro Ruis, Tony Dumas, Ralph Penland, Alex Cline and Peter Erskine among others to bring audiences a wonderful and unique sound that evokes a nostalgic blend of exotic worldliness. Takako's debut CD " Common Ground " was released on February 2010 produced by world renowned drummer Peter Erskine.
Having studied under scholarship in the renowned University of North Texas jazz program, Hiro has won many awards including the 3rd place in the Montreux Jazz Festival piano competition, Henry Mancini Institute scholarship, Down Beat magazine Best Extended-Composition award, and Keyboard Magazine "Unsigned Artist of the Month" award. He has worked on stage with artists such as Duke Ellington Orchestra, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Tommy Campbell, Paul Jackson, Kana Uemura and Maki Oguro. He has released two solo albums and produces background music for the Japanese Seven Eleven chain.
David Neptune is a documentary filmmaker and musician living in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Japan, David comes from a background in Japanese music thanks to playing percussion in concerts with his musician father John Kaizan Neptune. He moved to the US in 2000 and later started directing new media videos like What Kind of Asian Are You? with 10 million views on YouTube and But We’re Speaking Japanese with 40 million views on facebook. He transitioned into making documentary films and in 2019 completed his first documentary feature film Words Can’t Go There about his father and his life of music. It premiered at Warsaw International Film Festival and went on to play at Hawaii International Film Festival. While currently story producing an episode of Marvel’s 616 docuseries for Disney, David has been writing songs during these challenging times and hoping to play music for a live audience again soon.